Why the Mean Mom loves Skeleton Creek

IMG_3315I’m such a mean mom, making my kids read during the summer.  At least that’s what my 10 year old says.  “It’s not fair!,” she says.  “We’re on vacaaaaaaaaaaaation!”    I tell her I’d love to have nothing better to do but read all day.  I’d love to have a self cleaning house, self-raising children, magic genies that do the laundry and put stuff away, personal shoppers, personal trainers, no work, a chef, a chauffeur, bills that pay themselves with an unlimited supply of money that just appears in my bank account with no effort.  She just rolls her eyes at me. “I’m a kid, Mom.”  Oh, yeah.  I forgot.

So I set the timer for 20 minutes and tell her she can go back to watching tv and farting around after she does her reading.  The book I forced her to read today is Skeleton Creek by Patrick Carman. Her sister read (and watched) it in one day, but she’s my voracious reader.  No need to beg big sis to read.  The funny thing is that little sis continued to read after the timer went off.  She was totally into it!

This book is really cool.  The story is told by two kids; Ryan tells the story in journal entries, Sarah’s part is in video.  So you read a chapter, then log onto the website and watch a chapter (think Blair Witch- the camera is shaky, like a handheld video camera), then go back and read another chapter, and so on.  And (bonus!) it’s a dark and scary ghost story.  My kids love all things scary.

If you’re a mean mom like me with a reluctant reader this summer, you might want to take a look at Skeleton Creek.  Book 2 called Ghost in the Machine is coming out in October (the kids can’t wait!) and there’s a freaky fansite called Skeleton Creek is Real with lots of videos.  My daughter is convinced it’s real…

16 Responses

  1. My son’s been asking for this book! We may have to go pick it up this weekend!

  2. That sounds like a great way to “shake things up”. I think my kids would be into it just for the novelty.

  3. That’s a brilliant concept for reluctant readers! I’m a mean mom, too, this summer. My 17-yr-old loves to read–a reads great books including Hemingway and Orwell. But my 14-yr-old just doesn’t like reading. So she gets, as a chore, 30-mins of reading time 3 times a week. If she hadn’t picked a 600 page book she could have finished several books by now!

  4. I love this post. She’ll thank you for being such a mean mom one day!

  5. This is a great post Lisa! I have a 10 year old son and he’s been reading this summer but has been on a kick reading comics (Simpson’s, great literature, huh?!). He has read several books so I can’t complain too much. I’m the mean mom when I tell him he needs to read something besides Simpson’s comics! This sounds really good. I haven’t heard about it before and I think that my son would like it. I bet that your daughter will be begging you for the second book in the series when it comes out!

  6. I never heard of a book that was told in half online videos! That is so cool. I think I wouldn’t like having to stop every other chapter to go online, but it seems like something a kid would really get into.

  7. I have Little Red Book. Haven’t read it yet. Want to… haven’t gotten around to it.

    I sent you an email about this author!


  8. I’m so glad you wrote this–I remember looking for it when it was reviewed on Maw Books and not finding it, but now my library has copies. I think my kids will get a kick out of the book/computer interface.

  9. Skeleton Creek sounds really cool! Your daughter sounds like my brother was, reading was always a chore for him. I think he may have liked it more if it could have been mixed up with videos like that, though.

  10. I’ve heard good things about this book. If my daughter didn’t love to read so much, I’d certainly set aside reading time for her. My daughter thought I was mean when I made her start on her summer reading requirements right after school ended.

  11. I’m so laughing right now. My kids aren’t really reluctant readers; in fact, every time I tell my dd to put down her book (at the dinner table, while she’s supposed to be getting dressed, when she sneaks a book to church), she says, “But whhhhyyyy?” I keep telling her, “Don’t you think I want to read books all day? Do you really think cleaning the house (i.e. YOUR room) is my idea of fun?” Anyway, just glad I’m not the only one who has these thoughts/arguments!

    I’ll have to check out Skeleton Creek. It sounds really good!

  12. Thank you soooooooooooo much for posting about this book. I have a 9-year old son who has spent most of his time this summer complaining about the books I “force” him to read. I think this is one book he will really like. I’m racing to the library today to grab their copy. If he doesn’t read it I will!!

  13. I’ve heard great things about this book. I’ll have to pass this along to some nieces I know.

  14. The idea that you get one chapter in book, and then one online is a pretty cool one. I will have to grab a copy for my kids, it looks like something they would really enjoy. They love ghost stories, so it would be a very easy sell. Thanks for posting this!

  15. I’m a VERY mean mom (just ask my 13 yr old who STILL doesn’t have a cell phone!).

    I’ll look up this title, I think my older two kids would enjoy it.

  16. skeleton creek is a good book and scary at the same time my class only went throught it to the second video and it is good

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